Prigozhin says jealous Kremlin deliberately prevented Wagner from taking Bakhmut

Wagner Group founder Yevgeny Prigozhin has stepped up his furious attacks on the Russian Defense Ministry, accusing Kremlin officials of deliberately preventing his fighters from capturing Bakhmut out of sheer jealousy over his military successes.

The mercenary leader nicknamed “Putin’s boss” said authorities chose to deprive Wagner of ammunition, which slowed progress in the bloody battle to take Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine. “The goal is simple,” Prigozhin said: “PMC Wagner shouldn’t take Bakhmut.”

His comments, which were made during an interview with several Russian media on Wednesday, are the latest development in an escalating war of words between Prigozhin and Russia’s official armed forces.

“Our actions today are of course envious,” Prigozhin said, referring to jealousy within the Russian military establishment. “So because we have successes, while in other places the successes are not what they would like to be, so instead of – remember what Grandfather Lenin said: we all thought that we we were all supposed to live well, but instead they made it so that everyone lived the same but badly.

Prigozhin went on to say that all of Russia had “supported” Wagner after the fall of Soledar – a salt mining town near Bakhmut – a victory which he said was “only” achieved by his mercenaries despite statements to the contrary by the Russian Defense Ministry. After this success, Prigozhin claimed, the attitude of the Kremlin became: “Wagner should in no way capture Bakhmut”.

He said his mercenaries have since been starved of ammunition, leading to “shell hunger” in the fight, but that “Wagner will take Bakhmut anyway”. He said it will happen “not because Prigozhin wants it”, but: “Bitch, we have to prove to the whole world that the Russians can do it!”

After denouncing a series of other military targets in Ukraine, Prigozhin fumed: “Whatever it is, take something, damn it!”

The mercenary leader also complained of being deprived of access to military telephones. “Leave me the phone!” Wiretap him,” Prigozhin said. “Know what I’m talking about, and call me sometimes and say, ‘Prigozhin, you’re a jerk, fuck you,’ and hang up. At least like that. What’s the point of cutting it?

He said receiving abuse from Ministry of Defense commanders would be preferable to the current communications blackout, which could put his life at risk. “Is it so that my pilot, when he takes off, can’t warn the air defense not to shoot me down because I’m flying?” asked Prigozhing. “You shouldn’t be playing kindergarten. War is very serious work.

Internal tensions have been simmering between Wagner and Russian President Vladimir Putin for months. Prigozhin’s latest outbursts come after he was banned from entering Russian military command earlier this month. He also accused Kremlin commanders of “betraying the fatherland” and attempting to “destroy” Wagner by limiting supplies.

The struggle for absolute control of Bakhmut remains intense. On Thursday, Russia’s puppet leader in the Donetsk region, Denis Pushilin, told state news agency TASS that the situation in Bakhmut “remains complicated, difficult” and that he did not “see that there are preconditions there for the enemy to simply withdraw”. units.”

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